Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Malkangiri, Jun 29:

A Bonda couple from Odisha’s Malkangiri district—who was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s special invitees for last year’s Republic Day parade—is running from pillar to post to get a digitized ration card issued under National Food Security Act (NFSA).


The tribal couple—Dhabalu Sisa and Samari Sisa—hailing from Bandiguda village under Mudulipada gram panchayat of Malkangiri district, is among the hundreds of residents in the area who is struggling to meet their ends.

The beneficiaries alleged that they have not received their quota of foodgrains since several months.

“There are around 60 families here of which, 10 families have not received rice since last 10 months. We have applied for a new card thrice. The officials had asked us to make a list and submit to them but in vain. The person who is issuing rice at Mudulipada is not listening to us. It has caused us great inconvenience,” Samari Sisa said.

The primitive tribals have knocked on the doors of the concerned officials including Project Leader, Bonda Development Agency (BDA), Project Administrator, and Integrated Tribal Development Authority (ITDA) among others. But, their demands have fallen on deaf ears, it seems.

“We have approached the BDO, gram sevak, PL, PA with photocopies of the documents but we haven’t received anything yet,” Dhabalu Sisa said.

However, the authorities claimed that the tribals have been receiving ration.

“There are mainly two panchayats in Bonda ghati—Andrahal and Mudilipada. The residents belong to particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG). We have completed the process of registration and digitization for inclusion under National Food Security Act (NFSA). Some of them have not received the digitized card but they are receiving the monthly ration. We have prepared a ration distribution book to give them ration,” Abhimanyu Mohanty, District Civil Supplies Officer said.

Happiness knew no bounds when the couple was invited to New Delhi last year to participate in the R-Day celebrations. Their happiness was short-lived and the couple is now facing stark reality, living atop the Bonda hills.